Sunday, January 11, 2009
A few more random tips for traveling with your B.O.J.s:

1. If you are worried that you are over your weight limit for bags (or will be when you return) , pack a duffle bag in your suitcase. This makes shifting the weight around very quick by taking the extra weight and putting it in an extra bags. Just be sure that taking an extra bag doesn't mean you are over your bag limit. Usually this isn't the case when traveling with your B.O.J.s because you have more tickets and large child equipment (such as car seats and strollers) than you have allowable bags.

2. Purchase a large reusable shopping bag and pack it in your hand luggage. I'm guessing that you will get on the plane with just enough well-packed hand luggage for everyone, but, somehow, during the flight, your hand luggage will magically expand as things are unpacked. Bringing the extra bag allows you to collect your belongings without having to perform a feat of modern engineering to get off the plane. You can repack while waiting for the connection if you need to.

3. Fold-up a trash bag and pack it in your hand luggage. The flight attendents never come around enough to get rid of all your trash when you need it and a trash bag helps keep your foot area free of junk. Also, this is a good location to throw away wet diapers when you change them at your seat. (No one wants to hand a dirty diaper to a flight attendant!)

4. Remember bring more for your kids and less for yourself. Many people say you'll always think you need more than you actually do. This has never been the case for my kids because they are crazy, so hear that with a cautious ear.

5. You'll never have time to read a book (unless your kids are much better sleepers than mine), so opt for an iPod with videos, music, and audio books. I always like to bring some of my favorite comedian's bits with me to help ease the pain. Bryan Regan is especially funny.

6. Bring food and as much alcohol as allowable by law, as mentioned before.

7. A stoller bag for packing and gate checking your stroller can help prevent pieces breaking of your stoller while under the plane. (Or at least the pieces that break off will stay in the bag and you might be able to reattach them.)

8. Many car rental companies will rent car seats. This may help lighten the load while you travel.

9. Five-year olds make good pack horses and stroller pushers. Before age 5, they just don't have the height and strength.

10. Lollipops help reduce the pain in the ears from the plane's desent.

11. Don't forget to take Tylenol (or similar) and decongestant on the plane for all ages.

12. Once your kids are dressed for the trip, take a photo of them on your digital camera (or camera phone) and take it with you in case they go missing.

13. Attach a luggage tag to each child with your contact information and general flight information in case you get separated. You can also put an ID card in their pocket, but this is not as obvious to someone who is trying to help.

14. Some excellent B.O.J. traveling products:
  • Fisher Price child sized head phones. This link is to a travel pack with headphones that can be used with the Kid's Tough Portable DVD Player, but that are also compatible with airplane earphone jacks.
  • CARES Child Aviation Restraint System which is a 5-point harness that works like a car seat in an airplane without having to bring the car seat. This works best for larger toddlers and preschoolers. The nice thing is that you gain space in your row and it makes it harder for the kids to kick the seat in front of them. It packs small and you can opt to use it or not. It is FAA approved.


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